On Ash Wednesday, churches in San Francisco announced they were removing $10 million from Wells Fargo and called on the bank "to put an immediate freeze on its foreclosures and repent for their misconduct." The effort is part of several national campaigns to get consumers and community groups to remove their money from the big banks and transfer accounts to credit unions and smaller financial institutions. We're told that the banks, desperate when thrown a lifeline by taxpayers in 2008, are now stronger and better able to weather a crisis than they were. And yet, they continue to scream in protest and lobby on Capitol Hill against the ignominy of reform. Simple greed -- hey banks, how about giving that up for Lent?
For too long, small businesses have been struggling to bear the brunt of the recession. Lending has all but dried up, and too many lawmakers are spending more time playing politics than working to pass smart legislation to help them. How do we know small business owners feel this way? We asked them.
To provide the much-needed liquidity, the U. S. Small Business Administration is revising its CAPLine program to make lines of credit more acceptable to lenders and more available to small-business owners. However, banks would rather make conventional LOCs rather than hassle with some of the SBA's requirements.